25 reasons why we still love Beetlejuice

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Screenshot of official Beetlejuice trailer on warnerbros.com.

8. Beetlejuice’s Haunting Style

Once emancipated through his own trickery, Beetlejuice lets loose on the Deetz family. His scare tactics involve contorting his body to transform it into more frightening forms. He turns the railing by the staircase into a snake that’s black-and-white with his head at the end, complete with razor-sharp teeth and bug eyes. “We’ve come for your daughter, Chuck,” he tells Charles, and the family screams and runs.

At the climax, Beetlejuice uses carnival objects, imagery, and music to lure the houseguests into a false sense of joy and delight at his monstrous presence. Then Beetlejuice hurts two of the guests by shooting them up through the ceiling before humiliating Otho and turning on Charles, Delia, and Lydia.

His terrorizing is always outlandish and funny—unless you’re in his path. Yet much like the rest of the spirit world in Beetlejuice, there’s a strange and comedic veneer of business and bureaucracy to his actions when Beetlejuice claims he’s behaving professionally.

“You bunch of losers!” he shouts furiously after Barb sends him back. “How dare you interrupt a professional while he’s working?” At another point he says, “I’m just doing my job. I thought we had a deal…I don’t want to do business with you two anyway.”